Microsoft Wins US Patent for Creating Crypto Token Service

Microsoft Wins US Patent for Creating Crypto Token Service

Leading American tech corporation Microsoft has been granted a blockchain-related patent to introduce ledger-independent token services. The patent was issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Microsoft Aims To Solve Interoperability Issues

The patent will enable Microsoft to build a system that facilitates the creation and management of tokens across multiple blockchain networks. The system would also provide token templates to depict each type of digital asset while defining its controls and functions.

With this approach, the patent would allow developers to write code for tokens on different platforms all at once.

According to the announcement, Microsoft aims to solve the problems surrounding creating tokens for different distributed ledgers. Currently, it is difficult to do so due to the lack of standardization across different blockchains.

The Ledger-independent token service patent appears to be primarily aimed at developers using enterprise platforms rather than public blockchains. Notable projects in this category like Hyperledger Fabric, Quorum, R3 Corda, and Chain Core were mentioned in the patent.

Beside this project, Microsoft’s interest in interoperability can be seen in its involvement in the Token Taxonomy Initiative. Launched in 2019, this initiative is a token standardization project that enables enterprises to create blockchain-neutral tokens.

The issue of interoperability has become crucial as several crypto projects are actively involved in building solutions. One of such projects is the decentralized oracle network Chainlink, which introduced its Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP) earlier this month.

The new protocol aims to solve the security issues of existing bridges through the proper use of cryptographic primitives. It will also introduce a token bridge that will allow users to move their tokens across any blockchain network in a secure, scalable, and cost-efficient manner.

Despite its recent success, Microsoft awaits the verdict on a crypto mining patent filed last year. According to the application, the tech giant intends to develop a cryptocurrency system that enables individuals to mine cryptocurrency using their body activity data, eliminating the need for specialized mining machines.

Blockchain Patents Gaining Traction

Blockchain-related patent applications have increased in the last few years due to the wide adoption of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

Per the Intellectual Asset Management Magazine report released earlier this year, Alibaba’s Ant group has filed for over 2,000 blockchain patents since 2015. In the United States, one of the largest financial institutions, the Bank of America, announced that it was granted 227 patents this year, 8% of which were blockchain-related patents.

However, IBM remains the highest blockchain patent holder in the US. Earlier this year, IBM partnered with Paris-based company IPwe to introduce the first global patent market to turn patents into non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Read Original/a>
Author: Jimmy Aki

Bitcoin Payment Network, BitPay, Joins Square-Led Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA)

Bitcoin Payment Network, BitPay, Joins Square-Led Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA)

The alliance promotes sharing open-source patents and projects across partners.

BitPay is the latest in a string of big crypto companies to join the Square-led Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a blog post released on Wednesday confirmed. The alliance aims to enhance development across the crypto industry by promoting open-source projects and shared patents among members.

Launched in 2020, COPA is an alliance working towards ensuring Bitcoin and crypto remain completely free and open – as first envisioned by Satoshi. Square and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey has been at the forefront in calling for cooperation across the crypto field, stating the alliance will “help the crypto community defend against patent aggressors and trolls,” just like they recently did with Faketoshi, Craig Wright.

With cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies becoming mainstream, firms in the space are changing their way of business, with patent protection and court battles becoming the order of the day, Stephen Pair, CEO of BitPay, said.

“We see both business and consumer adoption accelerating as a result of COPA industry leaders working together to advance technology innovation, making the blockchain easy to use for both businesses and consumers.”

As one of the oldest Bitcoin payment channels, BitPay saw it fit to release their patents to the alliance to enhance innovation in the crypto payment space. The platform processes cryptocurrency payments to enable borderless payments using assets such as BTC, ETH, DOGE, BCH, and stablecoins such as USDC, PAX, and BUSD.

BitPay joins Coinbase (a COPA founding member) as the second high-profile company in the COPA alliance to push forward an ‘open patents policy’ to boost the growth in developments and innovation in the crypto ecosystem, a statement from Coinbase read at the time.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Coinbase Joins Square’s Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) As A Founding Member

  • Coinbase is the latest founding member to join Square’s Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA).
  • Coinbase joins 18 other founding members aiming to enhance the “open patent policies on crypto projects.”

An announcement on COPA’s official website this Thursday confirms Coinbase, U.S. largest cryptocurrency exchange, joins the alliance as a founding member alongside Square Inc. The alliance aims to push forward an ‘open patents policy’ to boost the growth in developments and innovation in the crypto ecosystem. Coinbase joins the alliance to push “COPA’s missions forward, educate the community and drive membership, and establish and administer the alliance’s policies.”

In September, Square launched the COPA alliance to ensure that Bitcoin and the wider crypto ecosystem remain free and secure. Jack Dorsey, the founder of Square, said at the time that COPA aims to “maintain a shared patent library to help the crypto community defend against patent aggressors and trolls,” further asking more companies to join their goal.

Since the launch of COPA, 18 crypto companies have joined the alliance, including Blockstack, Blockstream, Kraken, Protocol Labs, and Satoshi Labs.

Senior counsel at Coinbase and member of the COPA board, Brittany Cuthbert, stated his enthusiasm with the exchange joining the alliance to create a “foundational patent shield for the crypto ecosystem.” Cuthbert further said,

“As the crypto economy continues to grow, we believe it is important to help empower all projects building towards an open financial system.”

Furthermore, COPA also announced Steve Lee, Square Crypto Lead, and Dan Robinson, a Paradigm researcher, a crypto firm focused on open-source protocols, as COPA’s newest board members.

COPA’s goal aims to enhance development and innovation across the crypto field by abolishing the tying up of “foundational technology in patents and litigation,” given the market is still in its early days. The alliance aims to make these foundational cryptocurrency technologies available to everyone through tackling offensive patent lockup by developers.

All COPA members pledge not to use their foundational development crypto patents, “except for defensive reasons,” which frees up the patents used by any developer across the space. Moreover, the alliance creates a “shared patent library where members pool all of their crypto patents together to form a collective shield of patents.” This allows members of the alliance to use any patent in the library to defend themselves and deter aggressors.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Cybersecurity Firm, CipherTrace, Files Second Patent for Tracking Privacy Coin Monero (XMR)

  • A cybersecurity firm, CipherTrace announced on Monday their second patent on tracing and tracking privacy-enabled cryptocurrency, Monero (XMR)

A press release shared to the BEG news desk confirms CipherTrace, a blockchain analysis, and cybersecurity firm, has filed its second “Monero tracing” patent – “Techniques and Probabilistic Methods for Tracing Monero.” The patent follows the firm’s registration of the “Systems and Methods for Investigating Monero” patent earlier in the month in a bid to trace and track the privacy-enabled cryptocurrency.

Over the past few years, regulators and governments worldwide, including the United States and Russia, have been working on solutions to tracking XMR. According to the statement, over 45% of the darknet transactions are completed using privacy coins – with Monero leading the line, only second to Bitcoin (BTC).

Monero gives the user total anonymity through a privacy-by-default blockchain, unlike other privacy-based blockchains, ensuring no user can be deliberately or accidentally be traceable.

In September, the crypto intelligence firm announced a partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to develop a forensic tool to track and trace Monero. At the time, CipherTrace CEO Dave Jevans confirmed the product has been in the works for a year stating,

“Our research and development team worked for a year on developing techniques for providing financial investigators with analysis tools. There is much work still to be done, but CipherTrace is proud to announce the world’s first Monero tracing capability.”

The latest patent will allow CipherTrace to build unique solutions and a toolkit to help regulators and law enforcement officials easily trace private cryptocurrency. The patent covers many features, including forensic tools to explore the XMR transactions, statistical and probabilistic methods to clustering likely owners, transaction visualization tools and methodologies for gaining intelligence about XMR transactions and node operators, etc.

This will exacerbate money laundering across the virtual asset service providers (VASPs) such as crypto exchanges and custodial services. Monero’s privacy makes it difficult for these VASPs to take on the compliance risk due to the high possibility and risk of money laundering. Over the past year, several exchanges have delisted XMR due to these challenges, including OKEx, Upbit, and recently Switzerland-based ShapeShift.

While CipherTrace works to remove the anonymity that cryptocurrency assets offer, the privacy of the crypto users’ identities will not be disclosed, the statement reads.

“We do, however, identify the Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) that are commercial companies operating cryptocurrency businesses.”

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

IBM Granted Blockchain Gaming Consensus Patent For Massively Multiplayer Online Games

Tech giant IBM has secured a blockchain-based gaming protocol patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The patent, which was published today, was granted to IBM last week; and focuses on the multi-player games that are played online.

Notably, IBM had filed for the patent back in 2018 and has previously hinted at a blockchain use case for gaming, especially through Non-fungible token (NFT) innovations, which can be used assets in a game.

Dubbed the ‘Gaming consensus protocol for blockchain,’ this patent is part of IBM’s vision to create a blockchain ecosystem that supports transactions within MMO games with a big user base. Per the patent’s proposal, the participants in a particular multi-player game can leverage IBM’s blockchain consensus protocol to harmonize the game’s flow. The patent reads,

“In one embodiment, the consensus algorithm is provided as a service from the game network to any blockchain network; thus blockchain networks can delegate consensus to a distributed network of game clients within the gaming peers.”

Other than using the consensus to select subsets for transaction verification within a game, the patent also outlines that participants might receive some incentives based on their fees.

“These fees may be distributed between the participants of the consensus round (i.e., participants/users associated with each gaming peer) as an incentive, be used to maintain the network infrastructure or any other purpose that serves the gaming network and the players.”

While the patent states that participants will only leverage the consensus to order transactions, smart contract execution will remain on the blockchain unless the gaming peers have enough computing power.

“In some embodiments, smart contract execution could be moved to the massively multiplayer online gaming network if the gaming peers have sufficient computing power to perform the additional task of executing the smart contracts and if the business case allows it in terms of security and confidentiality.”

Target ecosystems include popular games such as Fortnite, Warzone, or Call of Duty; notably, this development comes as the blockchain gaming space continues to bloom.

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui

E-Commerce Giant, Amazon, Patents Blockchain Authentication Of Accepted Consumer Products

The world-leading e-commerce platform, Amazon Technologies Inc., filed a patent on blockchain technology for proving the authenticity of consumer goods in its online marketplace. The filing approved and made publicly available on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, describes the platform as an

“interface for verifiable tracking of an item through a supply chain using a distributed electronic ledger.”

The patent titled “Distributed ledger certification” was filed back in July 2017 with the U.S. Patents Office signaling a long term view of Amazon on distributed ledgers.

The platform aims at improving the trustworthiness of an item, service, or party as the world’s online marketplace grows to unseen levels. Currently, systems that lack transparency, coherency, referential integrity, or security set challenges for the global growth of online marketplaces. All these challenges reduce the trust between different parties – a problem that Amazon aims to solve with its DLT network.

The platform aggregates data from manufacturers, distributors, and shippers on an open network architecture to give the consumer real-time trusted information. The patent further touches on a possible implementation of permissioned enterprise network, Hyperledger.

Amazon in blockchain

In late September of last year, the company announced plans of hiring a specialist in blockchain in a bid to integrate decentralized ledger technologies in advertisements on the platform. The project will curb the mistrust between the sellers and buyers to create a more transparent and secure online marketplace.

Additionally, in late 2019, Amazon announced two blockchain-based products in early phase testing – Amazon Managed Blockchain and the Amazon Quantum Ledger Database.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Visa Files for a Centralized Digital Dollar Patent; Putting Fiat Currencies on Blockchain

Visa, a multinational payments service provider, has filed a patent to create a digital dollar based on blockchain tech with oversight from centralized computers. The US patent & Trademark office revealed the details of this application on May 14. However, Visa initially filed for the patent back in November 2019.

According to the publication, this idea is not solely based on the US dollar. Visa highlighted that the patent involves other currencies as well such that any central bank can smoothly transition to the digital form of its base currency. Dubbed the ‘Digital Fiat Currency’, it was filed in conjunction with inventors Alexander Pierre and Simon J. Hurry.

The Digital Dollar Technical Aspect

Visa has since mentioned the possibility of leveraging Ethereum’s blockchain for this development. The proposed infrastructure design encompasses two records meant to facilitate a transparent conversion from fiat to digital. One is tasked to ensure that a digital denomination has been created while the other records that a corresponding fiat amount is removed from circulation,

“…every time a dollar worth of digital fiat currency is generated, the central entity ensures that a corresponding physical dollar bill is removed from circulation, in order to regulate the value of the digital fiat currency.”

The application goes on to tout cryptocurrencies as a viable solution given the cost-friendly nature and immutability aspects embedded within blockchain ecosystems. However, Visa, did not maintain the fundamental nature of blockchain decentralization as per the application. In fact, it further suggests that the centralized entity approach could be the answer for implementing monetary policy in digital markets.

Following this approach, Visa’s patent was praised by the former chairman of US Commodity Futures Trading Commision (CFTC), Christopher Giancarlo. He noted that the patent is a major statement from both private and public stakeholders in the US,

“This confirms when the U.S. does big things like the space program and the Internet, there are partnerships between the private and public sector. This patent filing is evidence the private sector is very much at work on the future of money.”

Visa’s Recent Scaling in Blockchain and Crypto Activity

As the world navigates living with Covid-19, payment service providers have been on their toes to match the current needs. This has somewhat favored the crypto market which many were initially skeptical about. Visa’s latest milestone within this space is the inclusion of Coinbase as one of its principal members. This alliance has seen Coinbase pioneer debit cards for crypto spending with the help of Visa. The firm also runs a FinTech Fast Track Program supporting startups within this industry based on Visa’s resources.

Despite this success, the digital dollar patent does not guarantee a solution in monetary policy or regulatory oversight. A Visa spokesperson told Forbes that not every patent result in a new product but the firm strives to respect intellectual property,

“While not all patents will result in new products or features, Visa respects intellectual property and we are actively working to protect our ecosystem, our innovations and the Visa brand.”

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui

Block.one Granted Patent To Incentivize Positive Feedback On Social Media Networks

The company behind EOS blockchain network, Block.one, has been granted a patent which will allow it to use blockchain technology to encourage the use of positive feedback within the social media networks.

On April 28, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office released the patent documents revealing that Block.one is intending to solve the absence of incentivization techniques within the social media sphere for users to offer positive feedback such as likes, comments as well as upvotes.

The patent documents were first filed in May last year. According to the files, one of the ways by which posts get to influence is by getting positive feedback from the community. The documents explain that whereas the content creator is given recognition via positive feedback, the users that offer positive feedback are hardly appreciated.

Block.one has developed a fresh methodology which provides exposure to social media users that provide positive feedback apart from the original creator. The system is designed such that it will start by authenticating a post via a blockchain in order to make sure that the content is purely done by the author. From there, users that want to be linked with the given post can then bid on it using tokens that will be issued through social media. This will allow the highest bidder have their profile displayed on a spot that can be seen within the post.

As per the documents, the successful bidders will be given exposure via other users’ posts and can then utilize the exposure to promote their own posts or interests.

The documents also state that all the post data will be kept on the blockchain while the tokens gained via the bidding procedure will then be given to the author.

Block.one seems to be focused on the social media space as it announced its own social platform Voice which is built on EOS blockchain. In January the firm hired an ex-forbes executive to be its lead CEO. Currently, Voice is in private beta.

Read Original/a>
Author: Joseph Kibe

Blockstack Gets Patent Approval for Single Sign-on For Decentralized Applications (DApp)

Blockstack, the decentralized web development platform has been granted a patent for its method of cryptographically signature which makes it possible to sign on any of their Dapss with a single digital signature without the need for any third-party authentication.

Blockstack got the nod from USPTO on March 24, merely 8 months after it applied for the patent. The 8-month waiting period is quite low when we compare it to the average time period taken by USPTO has been around 32-months. Blockstack first released the developer version of Auth in 2017.

The patent document suggests that Blockstack’s Auth aims to become the one cryptographic password to rule them all in the next generation of internet also known as Web 3.0. The patent document also revealed that the functionality of Auth would be quite similar to current generation social media platforms like Google and Facebook’s one-click sign-in for multiple platforms. However, the execution would be quite different from the current ones.

In the current scenario, a third-party is responsible for authentication who take over the control from the user and manages to scan any possible data from centralized servers without the user’s consent or we can say the policies have been as such that a user has to grant authority to use the service. However, Auth won’t be relying on servers for authentication and instead, it would make use of the cryptographic public key.

How Auth Would Ensure Privacy for the Users

The process of authentication would be carried out by exchanging JSON web tokens between the Dapps and Blockstack browser. At the time of sign-in an “ephemeral transit key” is generated by the Dapp whose public portion is sent to the browser using “authRequest” token. The browser then encrypts the public portion and send back the encrypted public information to Dapp in the form of “authResponse” token.

Although this would be Blockstack’s first patent for its universal login Auth protocol, it has also led to questioning whether patenting was the right way for open source Blockstack Auth and decentralization in general. Muneeb Ali, CEO of Blockstack addressed the issue on a forum after 2 days of patent confirmation. Ali claimed that the main reason for them to patent their system was so that no other big firms file the patent for any similar protocol, which would have negated their work.

Ali also cited that many big firms like IBM, Microsoft and Amazon have been interested in making it big in the blockchain space and have filed numerous patents for the same. Ali also noted that their only intention is to patent core team effort and called it purely for the defensive purpose.

Read Original/a>
Author: James W

China Moves Closer to Issuing its Digital Currency in the Face of Coronavirus: Report

  • Alibaba, the company involved in the development of China’s digital currency filed for a patent related to the digital currency
  • The news came hot on the heels of new coronavirus bill in Congress proposing a digital dollar

The People’s Bank of China is getting nearer to releasing its digital currency, reports The Global Times.

According to the latest report, China’s central bank in collaboration with private companies has completed the development of the basic function of the autonomous digital currency and is now drafting laws for its circulation.

Many companies in the private sector, most located in Shenzhen such as Alibaba, Huawei, Tencent, and China Merchant Bank are the participants in the development of China’s digital currency.

Alibaba’s financial arm, Alipay, has made public 5 patents pertinent to China’s  digital currency from 1/21 to 3/17.

The patents address digital wallets, issuance, transaction recording, and anti-money laundering aspects of the digital currency.

The next step in this process is working with financial services and regulators of insurance as well as passing legislation that could be lengthy and as such no exact date has been set for the launch.

Coronavirus Pandemic Pushing for the Need of Digital Currency

This report came close on the heels of the US considering creating a digital dollar to save the US economy from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The virtual greenback could be used to send payments of $1,000 for minors and $2,000 to legal adults.

Both the draft bills “Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act” and the “Financial Protections and Assistance for America’s Consumers, States, Businesses, and Vulnerable Populations Act,” suggest the creation of a digital dollar.

Digital currency is seen as the “most convenient tool” to translate central banks’ zero and negative interest policy to commercial banks.

Citing the industry insiders, the Global Times also reported China should accelerate the availability of its digital currency as interest rates are driven into negative territory around the world to improve liquidity in the market amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Cao Yan, vice director of the Advanced Research Institute of Blockchain, the central bank should accelerate the launch of its CBDC due to the Covid-19 global pandemic. Cao said,

“If there is a chance China is considering lowering its interest rate into negative territory as a final option and directing such policy to commercial loans and lending, a circulated digital currency rather than M0 will be able to achieve that.”

He believes the development of the digital currency would be more efficient if the bank works with private institutions that are involved with blockchain technology and 3rd party payment processes.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy